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Posts Tagged ‘rape’

In the Dinah section of A Thousand Vessels, I explore the story of a young woman who is raped–then sought as a wife–by Shechem. In a vengeful rage, her brothers proceed to kill every male in the city. I’m sure they felt justice was done, but in the end, Dinah still carried the pain of her brutal attack to the grave. Of course violent perpetrators should face the consequences of their actions.  I can think of few missions more important than breaking up a child sex ring and bringing these criminals to justice. But in the end, the pain and memories remain. Fight for justice for victims, yes, but also take the time to reach out to them, listen, and show unconditional love and grace. There are probably more than you know, right in your neighborhood.

Drift (originally appeared in Nimrod as “The Hiding Place”)

At last, April. We drive past the forest preserve,

treetops simmering green. I roll down the window

and press my palm to the wind.

I’ve read that in spring, young girls are driven

to places like these, forced to huddle under damp logs.

Some are thirteen, some are ten, some are six,

shivering in stilettos and halter tops.

They draw daisies in the dirt with sticks

as they wait for the men to appear at twilight.

The girls teach themselves to float away,

drifting to the canopy of branches.

One girl becomes a wisp of cloud;

one becomes a squirrel. One becomes a sparrow,

flitting among the open spaces

until she alights on a bud. She perches there

and refuses to move. When the wind tosses

the branch, she dips and sails with it, oblivious

to the whimpers below, the sudden pops

of raindrops, the rush of passing cars.

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